The English Football League has warned that football cannot resume before adequate testing arrangements are in place for coronavirus, and that cannot come at the expense of front-line workers.
Responding to news that the Premier League has stepped up planning for a return behind closed doors as early as June, the EFL said its own position remains unchanged as it looks to find a way to resume play as soon as possible.
In a statement, the EFL said: "Clearly, before any return to football can take place, suitable testing arrangements for participants must be in place and this is core to our current planning, as is ensuring there is absolutely no negative impact on the country's front-line workers, the emergency services, league and club staff members."
Aston Villa's players, first-team coaches and senior management have agreed to defer 25 per cent of their salaries for four months.
The Premier League strugglers have struck a deal with the squad and they will not furlough staff, as the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak continues.
Chief executive Christian Purslow said: "Our players and staff feel great solidarity with the many clubs in the football pyramid who have financial problems and we believe it is right and proper that the Premier League as a whole takes action on its finances collectively to enable it to be able to continue to provide vital funding throughout the game in England."